PIIE Blog | RealTime Economic Issues Watch
The Peterson Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan
research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. More › ›
Subscribe to RealTime Economic Issues Watch Search
RealTime Economic Issues Watch

In RealTime posts, PIIE senior staff and colleagues discuss the fast-moving economic news, financial developments, and public policy choices confronting the United States and the world.

Recent Posts

Greece Turns from Drama to Tragedy

by | June 29th, 2015 | 05:05 pm

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s surprise call last week for a referendum on the austerity proposals by its international creditors, followed by the shuttering of Greece’s banks and stock exchange on June 29, opens a dangerous new chapter of its crisis. It could also spell the end of Tsipras’s political leadership. The prime minister’s moves have […]

Read full post

President Dilma Rousseff Comes to Town

by | June 25th, 2015 | 11:00 am

President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to Washington next week will mark an important turning point in Brazil-US relations. Or will it? After floundering for several years, it is hard to imagine that the currently lukewarm—and at times decidedly distant—relationship between the two largest economies in the Americas will change much on June 30. However, the visit […]

Read full post

Greece: Better Than Expected, But Still Not Good News

by | June 22nd, 2015 | 05:37 pm

The meeting of the Eurogroup of finance ministers on June 22 marked the first time after five months in office that the Greek government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposed reforms that the Eurogroup considered credible enough to even begin to discuss. This alone is a welcome if incomprehensibly long overdue development. But many challenges […]

Read full post

Greece’s Fate: High Noon in Brussels

by | June 19th, 2015 | 05:11 pm

The emergency Euro Summit in Brussels planned for June 22 to discuss the situation in Greece will decide whether Greece will continue in its current reform program imposed by its creditors or enter into a default against them. What will not be decided is whether Greece remains a member of the euro area. Despite all […]

Read full post

EU Tax Haven Blacklist Is Discriminatory

by | June 19th, 2015 | 01:14 pm

Earlier this month, the EU Commission published a list of 30 small countries that it describes as noncooperative jurisdictions on tax matters. The list is designed to tar-and-feather these countries, reduce their access to international development funds, and so pressure them into abandoning their international financial centers. It is an act of gross discriminatory bullying […]

Read full post

Mischaracterizing and Exaggerating Fossil Fuel Subsidies

by | June 16th, 2015 | 09:05 am

Subsidies are rampant in today’s world economy, and they generally do more harm than good. Governments usually fail when they try to pick industrial winners, while subsidies to support industrial losers are hard to phase out. International disciplines contained in the World Trade Organization are weak and seldom enforced. For all these reasons, it’s good […]

Read full post

Greece: The Confrontational End-Game Is Here

by | June 12th, 2015 | 05:21 pm

Now that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has alienated the European Commission, which is his government’s only potential ally in the creditor group known as the Troika—European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—no credible bridge-builders are left to save Athens from itself. Further confrontation and escalation seem most likely (60 percent). […]

Read full post

Four Questions to Ask about OECD’s BEPS Project

by | June 9th, 2015 | 05:25 pm

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) project titled Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) has gained wild popularity among finance ministers. This ambitious undertaking seeks to reveal how multinational corporations (MNCs) seek to locate income in low-tax jurisdictions and avoid paying rates in high-tax jurisdictions.

Read full post

Brazil’s Potential Output: A Case of Cognitive Dissonance?

by | June 5th, 2015 | 03:11 pm

The International Monetary Fund’s most recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) report (IMF 2015) confirms many economists’ continued low expectations for Brazil’s potential output and growth. Although estimating potential growth is subject to well-known pitfalls, the importance of such estimates in the policymaking process requires them, however imperfect. As the recent WEO pointedly underscores, the economic […]

Read full post

Greece—Once Again on the Edge

by | June 3rd, 2015 | 12:02 pm

Greece is again on the precipice of an economic crisis after the Syriza-led government managed to push all potential (non-blogosphere) allies into de facto adopting the German negotiating position enunciated by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble: There will be no more money for Greece unless it continues the previously agreed structural economic reforms, pursues credible fiscal […]

Read full post